Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Can you have any authority if you suffer from Short Mum Syndrome?

So, it’s happened. Of course, I always knew it would — but so soon? It seems like only yesterday that she was toddling about under my feet but up to my hips when she drew herself up to her full height. She’d just turned one and was growing fast and I was 39, already starting on that slippery slope of shrinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for her, I really am. It’s just that, well, I dunno. I suppose the fact that The Eleventeen-Year-Old is now officially taller than me (the kitchen door frame bearing witness to our pencilled measurements) I feel a bit sad, a bit old and a lot like a shorta*** of colossal proportions.

Not that it’s a surprise or anything — she was always going to be tall, given her father is 6ft 2in something and she was a long baby. But she’s not even 12 yet and she’s already way taller than I was at her age.

My darling daughter is, obviously, over the moon about all this. I could tell by the way she kissed my forehead (without having to stand on tippy-toes) and ruffled my hair just before she skipped off to school this morning, calling out, over her shoulder, “See you later, Shorty!”.

Luckily, she’s never really been one for gloating, bragging or otherwise rubbing it in. Much. Unlike her little brother…

“Mummy!” He cried, when he saw his sister towering over me, “Are you getting smaller?”

“Ooh, do you think I’ve lost weight?” came my quick-as-a-flash, ridiculously optimistic reply.

“No!” He giggled at my ludicrous suggestion. “You’re still fat, but I think you’re getting shorter! Mummy’s getting shorter, mummy’s getting shorter, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!”

I explained to him as calmly as I could — playground taunts still capable of raising the hackles of even the most ancient among us — that I probably am starting to shrink a little bit, given my advanced years and everything, but that he and his sister are really shooting up in the height stakes these days — and that’s what makes me look even shorter.

As if on cue, Cookie then pounced on me, his front paws resting effortlessly on my shoulders.

“Even Cookie’s taller than you Mum!” The Sunshiney Seven-Year-Old stated the bleeding obvious, cracking up laughing in the process.

“Get dressed for school,” I harrumphed, getting a tad tetchy. I then pushed Cookie off me, his death breath enough to melt the paint off the walls, and went into the kitchen to make a much-needed, extra-strong, restoratively large cup of Twinings Lady Grey bright with zesty orange. Have you tried those tea bags yet? They’re a real treat and just happen to go very well with a Co-Op sour cherry chocolate-covered shortbread biscuit (or six), if you’re interested. Even if you’re not interested, they’re still scrummy.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, the dog dwarfing the incredible shrinking woman. So Cookie trots after me, ever-hopeful there’s some food in it for him if I’m mucking about in the kitchen, and I hear my son turning the telly on.

“I said get dressed!” I yell out to him, which is totally unnecessary, really, given that our house is so small, you could be out in the back yard and still hear the Coronation Street theme tune coming from the front room — even if it was on mute.

I get nothing back, of course, my voice of authority never being up to much, and I start feeling more like Napoleon than usual. Yep, I’m suffering from Short Mum Syndrome — and it’s driving me mad!

I mean, why does no one ever listen to me or do what I ask them to?

“And as for you? Gedahdavit!” I grumble to Cookie, who’s busy snuffling around the cupboards, trying to sniff out where I’ve hidden the gravy bone treats.

But he ignores me too.

That’s it!

I march into the front room, my steps more duckling than goose, merely adding to the overall theme of impotence already running through my day and see my boy’s fully dressed, watching Horrible Histories.

So what do I do? Watch it with him, of course. I’ve always fancied those guys — even the chubby one.

But that’s another story…

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